The cooler weather and great water temperatures gave way to the perfect atmosphere on Sunday for the 13th annual Auburn Triathlon. With four race distances to choose from, over 400 athletes competed in a swim, bike, and run, in and around Folsom Lake and the American River area.
The women’s “World’s Toughest Half” Ironman distance triathlon was won by first-time half Ironman distance competitor, Kelsey Withrow. She was the fastest female swimmer of the day, which helped her keep the lead when during her bike she had problems with the chain coming on and off. Despite that issue, she was able to hold off the second-place competitor by having a strong run on the trails.
The men’s overall winner of “The World’s Toughest Half” was Kevin Rudd from Campbell, California. He said the “World’s Toughest Half” is definitely the right name for the race because the course is the hardest triathlon that he’s ever done. Summed up in one word, Kevin described the course as “relentless.” Most notably relentless on the course is the bike portion with a ride that is up and down with not too many flat stretches. Kevin had the fastest bike split of the day which is his strongest of the three disciplines and helped him win the overall race. He mentioned he had an encounter with three four-legged animals that slowed him down a bit.
The USA Triathlon Southwest Championships were held in conjunction with the International Triathlon distance race. The overall female winner was Elise Winter with a time of 2 hours 42 minutes.
The overall male winner was JP Donovan in 2:14:42.
The most interesting note of the day was the fourth place overall “Half” competitor Bruce Deakyne. He had the fastest swim and the fastest run splits of the day. Most first-time competitors described the course as tough but beautiful and would definitely come back next year for one of the four race distances.
Many thanks to all who raced, volunteered, spectated, or otherwise contributed to the success of the 2015 edition of the Auburn Triathlon. It was a great day for racing and we really appreciate the support of everyone.
Justin Smith, Overall Winner of the 2014 World’s Toughest Half
“This truly is one of my all-time favorite races. The venue is world class, the aid is awesome, and the great vibe of the announcing and organizers is incredible. Keep up the great work and see you again next year!“
“I thought you ran a great event yesterday. I was a first-timer on your Aquabike and it certainly lived up to its billing; it was tough. I appreciated all the volunteers on the course with the directions and support at the water stations. They were all enthusiastic, supportive, and informative, so please say ‘thanks’ for me again. My daughters were impressed with the finisher’s medal, so maybe that will translate into them joining me in one of the events next year. Just wanted to pass along my thanks, and appreciation for a nicely organized event.”
Taylor Hockett, Winner of the Mini Triathlon
“Right on! Thank you! I really did have fun at your event. I thought it was well marked and something I will do again…..the mini is a perfect fun little race. I know there were issues about the course “not being marked” really…it’s up to the athletes. Well, thanks again!“
Jonathon T Meek
“Was my first half iron and wanted to pick a tough race to help prep for IMLT. Bike course was tough, run course was tougher! couldn’t beat the scenery and CAN’T WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR! Thanks for putting on a great, well managed race with awesome volunteers. Need to spread the word and get more folks to ‘suck it up’ for this one!
“Great event, challenging, fun & well ran.”
“Kudos, compliments, and praises to Colleen, Joe, Anne, Chris, Brad, the volunteers, and all others involved for putting on a “textbook” example of how to run a successful triathlon event with a complex course design!”
Chris Cloyd, 2nd place International
“I was super excited to keep up the momentum with a podium finish alongside some GREAT competition at the Auburn Triathlon this past weekend.”
“Tough enough? Oh yeah! You did an incredible job of running a challenging race. The support was as awesome as it was tough. The run aid stations were especially excellent, staffed by wonderful volunteers with great positive attitudes. Well done!”
“My only complaint is not getting a shirt both times I’ve completed the race after being an early registrant. Everything else about this event is top-notch, from support to volunteers to a fabulous run! Thanks for a great day. I will be back for #3, but I want a shirt next time!”
“I can’t say I have anything to compare to since this was my first tri, but others were commenting on this being a very tough course compared to past years. As a first timer, a top 10 placing in such a challenging race was absolutely mind blowing. Goes to show what can be accomplished with focus and determination.”
“After 3 long courses, I chose the ‘easier’ International distance, for which you, too, need to be tough. Great organization and volunteers (and course).”
We couldn’t of asked for a better day! With temps approaching the 100s just days before the 12th Annual Auburn Triathlon, race day temperatures at the swim were 57 with daytime highs maybe upper 70s. Water temperature was 71! A gorgeous weekend and a perfect day for a triathlon.
With 407 participants registered for one of the 4 events of the Auburn Triathlon, 344 participated race day. The waters were calm at Rattlesnake Bar till the horn went off at 7:00. Every 5 minutes a wave of swimmers would hit the water joining the lifeguards and safety personnel already out on the water on jet skis, paddleboards and kayaks. Dan Ingals of National Marine safety set the course for the events and provided water safety as did the Folsom State Park lifeguards. Our swimmers were well watched, guarded and protected.
First to exit the water was Rob Laurie, of Incline Village with a swim time for the International of 20:11.6. Linda Hora was first female out of the water with a time of 22:37.
In the World’s Toughest Half the fastest swimmers were Justin Smith of Davis with a time of 25:35 and Amanda Mattioli with a time of 29:10.
Both Justin and Amanda each won the ZOOT Z Force 1.0 Wetsuit provided by our Swim Course Sponsor Rocklin Endurance Sports.
For the Mini Tri first out of the water was Brynda Larsen, age 51, with a lickety split time of 8:15. Ian Smith, 19, was first for the men in a time of 8:35.
In the NEW World’s Toughest Aquabike, the fastest swimmer was Wendy Buchanan of Tahoe City, swimming the 1.2 mile course in 34:17 followed by Mike Scott with a time of 34:23.
Then onto the bikes with a climb right out of the transition. All the major intersections were posted with either CHP, or Auburn PD as well as there were many volunteers out there at various places along the course watching out for the cyclists’ safety.
The fastest cyclist of the day for the Mini was Michael Cordova riding up from Rattlesnake Bar in a time of 26:52. Kelly Hammerstone rode the uphill course in 31:03.
For the International the fastest bike time for the men was from last years previous winner Chris Cloyd of Truckee with a time of 1:11:08. Reno Area Triathlon Club’s Dana Ginsburg came in with the fastest bike time for the International Women in 1:25:36.
In the World’s Toughest Half , Justin Smith also took top honors for the fastest bike time, 2:43:41 with Susannah Breen coming into T2 with a bike time of 3:06:03.
Both Justin and Susannah each won $100 gift certificates to Bicycle Emporium, Auburn Triathlon’s Bike Course Sponsor.
For the Aquabike Ann Erickson clocked the fastest bike time for both men and women, 3:09:07 that was fast enough for her to take the Overall win for the World’s Toughest Aquabike, again for both men and women, way to go Ann! In the men’s division Jerry Wilcox biked the tough bike course in 3:45:50.
Onto the run
Fastest Mini male runner was Taylor Hocket in 15:41 and 19 yr old Hannah Halverson of Truckee ran the canal trail in 19:48.
Fastest International runners: Shane Arters, Team Zooters, ran the course in an awesome time of 44:33. Linda Hora once again stole the show for the fastest run for women with a time of 48:46.
Matt Balzer and Susannah Breen were the fastest runners on the new/old World’s Toughest Half run course, each winning a pair of Salomon Shoes presented by Salomon and Alpenglow Sports of Tahoe City whom partnered to sponsor the WTH Auburn Triathlon’s Run Course. Matt Balzer owner of Reno Running Company, a Partner of Auburn Triathlon, donated great prizes to the raffle. Matt’s time was 1:31:46 and Susannah clocked a 1:40:07.
Overall male winners for the Mini Tri were Taylor Hockett, 31, in a time of 57:53 followed by Michael Cordova, 30,in a time of 58:13 and coming in third to round up the podium was Dawson Smith, 15, in a time of 1:00:52.
For the Women in the Mini Tri we had Kelly Hammerstone, 35, taking top honors with a time of 1:05:40. 16 year old Hannah Halverson of the Wild Cherries Team from Truckee was second in a time of 1:06:32. Angela Raimondi, 25, was 3rd, 1:08:06.
First for the men in the International was Shane Arters,49, of Team Zooters, second was last years winner Chris Cloyd, 29, followed in third by Matt Harder,41. Their times respectively: 2:22:09; 2:24:12; 2:29:12.
First for the women in the International was Dana Ginsburg, 49, with a time of 2:46:33; Joanne Glichrist, 44, was very close behind with a time 2:46:48. Then Linda Hora, 50, not too much further back was 3rd in a time of 2:47:25.
The Aquabike was won by Ann Erickson, 53, 4:04:47 followed by Wendy Buchanan,43,in 4:12:47. In the Men, Jerry Wilcox, 53, was first with a swim/bike time of 4:28:36. Second was Gregg McKenzie, 44, 4:39:18.
The Overall Winners of the World’s Toughest Half went to Justin Smith, 32, in a time of 4:45:47 and Susannah Breen, 33, 5:34:50. Both Justin and Susannah won ZIPP’s Vuka Alumina Aero Cockpits.
Following close behind Susannah was Joanna Pomykala, 38, with a time of 5:35:24 and our own Robyn Soares, 40, crossing the finish line in 5:48:16.
Chasing down Justin was Matt Balzer, 33, closing the gap in on the run, crossing behind Justin in a time of 4:52:30. Keith Jamtaas, 35, was third fastest in the World’s Toughest Half in a time of 4:55:53.
Congratulations to all the winners, and congratulations to all who finished any of the Auburn Triathlon events. We do hope you all had a great, challenging enjoyable day and we hope you all will come back and try to PR the course. Challenge your friends to a great race.
We would love feed back so please do not hesitate to email us with ideas, suggestions, recommendations. We did send out a survey if for some reason you did not receive it or would like us to resend it to you contact us.
See you next year, please spread the word, lets work together to grow this race and make it one of the best and toughest races in the West.